Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173)

Seán Crowe

Question:

171 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide a detailed explanation for the increase in the pupil-teacher ratio at a school (details supplied) in Dublin 22; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35269/12]

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Seán Crowe

Question:

172 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on whether it is acceptable to notify a school (details supplied) in Dublin 22 of changes to their pupil teacher ratio on 26 June giving them less than three months to make the necessary arrangements for the 2012-13 school year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35270/12]

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Seán Crowe

Question:

173 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will confirm that during the 1990s a school (details supplied) in Dublin 22 was acknowledged as catering in the main for pupils who were multiply disabled and as a result was informed to alter their pupil teacher ratio accordingly to 6:1; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35271/12]

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Seán Crowe

Question:

174 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on whether the pupils attending a school (details supplied) in Dublin 22 should in the majority of cases be classified as multiply disabled as they experience physical and learning disabilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35272/12]

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Seán Crowe

Question:

175 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will review the definition of multiply disabled currently in operation by the National Council for Special Education to ensure that the definition in operation fully meets the needs of all pupils who have multiple disabilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35273/12]

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Seán Crowe

Question:

176 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will review the decision to increase the pupil teacher ratio and consequent cuts in teaching staff at a school (details supplied) in Dublin 22; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35274/12]

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Seán Crowe

Question:

177 Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on whether the increase in the pupil teacher ratio and consequent cuts in teaching staff at a school (details supplied) in Dublin 22 will have detrimental impact on the education of the pupils concerned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35275/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Skills)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 171 to 177, inclusive, together.

I wish to advise the Deputy that the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is an independent agency with responsibility for determining the appropriate staffing levels in relation to the support of pupils with special educational needs in mainstream and special schools. The NCSE operates within my Department's policy in allocating this support.

Circular 0042/2011 provides information to schools regarding the staffing arrangements which apply in special schools in the current school year and for the 2012/13 school year.

The Circular sets out that, for the 2012/13 school year, schools will be staffed based on their pupil profiles and the disability category of the pupils enrolled as opposed to being based principally on school designation. It is intended that staffing levels will reflect the complexity of need that exists within schools rather than being determined solely by a school's designation, as many Special Schools now enrol students from disability categories other than from those provided for by their school designations.

The NCSE will, in future, suppress posts in schools which have excess teaching posts in order to create a post in a school which does not have excess posts and which has growing pupil numbers. The NCSE has identified that the school in question had a surplus teaching post in accordance with the school's pupil profile and therefore suppressed a post in the school.

The NCSE has confirmed that the school has an appropriate level of teaching staff to cater for all of the children enrolled in the school from September.